Joseph Jedeikin was born in Kobe, Japan
to a Russian mother and Latvian father. After living in Switzerland as a child, his
family moved to Shanghai in 1940 to escape German persecution against Jews which they
felt would eventually reach them if they stayed in Europe. The family lived in the
French Concession, and Jedeikin attended the Public and Thomas Hanbury School before
graduating in 1945 and leaving China in 1946 to attend university in America. The
collection consists of Jedeikin’s membership card for the local Y.M.C.A. in Shanghai,
and the armband worn by Jedeikin as a member of the Foreign Pao Chia during World War
Joseph (Joe) Jedeikin was born in 1927 in Kobe, Japan to a Russian mother and Latvian
father. His family, who were Jewish, moved to Zurich, Switzerland in 1930, where they
lived for ten years. At the outbreak of World War II, Jedeikin’s father feared that
Switzerland would fall to Germany like Austria and Czechoslovakia, so he decided to flee
Europe with his family. After a failed attempt to immigrate to the United States, the
family moved to Shanghai in 1940 and settled in the French Concession, where Jedeikin
attended the Public and Thomas Hanbury School for Boys. As Latvians, the family was not
interned during the war, but Jedeikin was forced at age 17 to serve in Shanghai’s
Foreign Pao Chia as an air warden, patrolling the city on lookout for B-29 bomb strikes.
After graduating from school in 1945, Jedeikin was accepted into the University of
California at Berkeley, and he left Shanghai in 1946 for the United States. He attended
Berkeley for two years, then transferred to the University of California, Hastings
College of the Law, where he earned a Juris Doctor degree in 1951 and began practicing
law in the San Francisco area, where he still lives today.
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